Renewable Energy Technology Incentives in New Jersey
New Jersey offers a number of incentives for local residents and businesses to engage with renewable technology and boasts the largest rooftop solar array in the US at Gloucester Marine Terminal. The state has a challenging Renewable Portfolio Standard of providing 20% of its energy mix through green energy by 2021. Since 2014, all new large scale electricity production facilities have been through solar PV.
In fact, New Jersey is one of the leading installers of solar PV with a capacity that has grown from 43.6 MW in 2007 to 1,184 MW in 2013. The largest single solar installation is at Tinton Falls with a capacity of just under 20 MW delivered via 85,000 panels. As you might expect, the industry if thriving in the state with over 500 companies employing 7,000 people and popularity has been helped by the introduction of one of the most advantageous net metering programs in the country.
Compared to solar, wind power has lagged behind in the state but is now starting to develop quickly. One major wind farm, currently at Atlantic City, is set to be followed by off shore projects in the near future. New Jersey has two hydroelectric plants, Yards Creek with a capacity of 420 MW and a smaller one at Great Falls. Groups such as the New Jersey Water Supply Authority are currently investigating how the hydroelectric capacity of the state can be increased. Biomass too has been low down the list of priorities of the state though it has potential to develop further in the future.
Solar PV Incentives in New Jersey
Incentives for the installation of solar PV are some of the best in the US and New Jersey has been particularly focused on developing residential and commercial projects. There are benefits from the Federal Tax Rebate of 30% and other incentives come from the SREC-Based Financing Program. All parties including commercial and residential installations can access net metering and the Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) Registration Program which apply for the first 15 years of an array. Low cost finance is also available through the PSE&G Solar Loan Program.
Solar PV Case Study in New Jersey
There are a couple of ways to get solar power in New Jersey, either by buying outright through savings or a loan or through a leasing arrangement with the installing company which means you hand over the incentives. The cost of a 5kW solar panel installation is $18,750 which is reduced by the 30% Federal Tax Rebate and the SREC payments to the tune of around $1,000. If you have taken out a loan, you’ll cover the cost of repayments with these incentives and return on investment over the standard 25-year life time of the array should be in excess of $30,000.
Solar Thermal Incentives in New Jersey
Solar thermal is becoming increasingly popular across many US states and comes with incentives such as the Federal Tax Rebate and the Solar Energy Sales Tax Exemption which is available for commercial, industrial and residential installations. Residential properties can also take advantage of the NJ Clean Energy WARMAdvantage Program.
Small Hydro Incentives in New Jersey
With just one major hydroelectric plant in the state that produces over 400 MW, there is capacity for New Jersey to improve its energy production from this source. Small scale hydro can take advantage of the Federal Tax Rebate and there is PACE financing available for certain projects. Most of the focus in New Jersey though is still on solar thermal and solar PV when it comes to offering wide ranging incentives.
Geothermal Incentives in New Jersey
In most states, geothermal technologies such as ground source heat pumps are becoming more popular as a way of heating homes and offices. Residential properties, particularly large families and low income households, can benefit from a $500 rebate from the COOLAdvantage Program. The major issue with geothermal is that homes have to be well insulated and also possess the garden space to put in the pump infrastructure.
Biomass Incentives in New Jersey
While large scale biomass has yet to take off in New Jersey in the same way it has in other states, there are incentives for those who want it installed. This includes Small Scale CHP and Fuel Cell Incentive Program and the New Jersey Renewable Energy Incentive Program which includes biomass and anaerobic digesters as eligible technologies.
Wind Power Incentives in New Jersey
Wind power in the state is on the increase especially with respect to off shore installations. While rebates for private projects are currently suspended, there is the Federal Tax Rebate and the return on investment for a wind turbine which is in the right location is fairly good. The Wind Working Group can advise on smaller installations and arrange loans of anemometers for checking wind speeds.
New Jersey has made some bold steps in promoting renewable energy, particularly helping to grow a healthy solar PV and solar thermal industry. Advances in biomass energy production and more wind turbines, including off shore, could provide a stronger mix of viable technologies.
You can find out more about renewable technology incentives in the state of New Jersey on the DSIRE web site.